Opa! You can celebrate all things Grecian as the annual Panegyri Greek Festival returns for its 48th year this weekend, June 23-25.
The festival at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Church in Springfield Township will be a hub of Greek food, culture and fun activities.
“When we began this festival in 1975, it was a way for us to give back to the local community by sharing our culture and heritage with our neighbors. Loosely translated, Panegyri means ‘festival for everyone,’” the church shares on its website. “Our festival has something for all ages and is truly a wondrous event. We are proud and excited to have you share your time with our family and hope you have the opportunity to experience the festival to its fullest.”
At the festival, you can browse the Greek-style open-air market, or “agora,” to find something special, like imported extra virgin olive oil from Kofinas Greek Olive Oil or Byzantine icons, prayer ropes and other religious items from Greek Soul.
There will also be cooking demonstrations where you can learn how to make some of the Greek dishes found at the festival. Entertainment also includes Greek dancing groups, as well as dance lessons, and music from Giorgo and the Corner Band in the Plateia Philoxenia, or Hospitality Square.
If you’re into history, Panegyri also hosts a Cultural Exhibit centered around Pericles, Alexander the Great and Constantine the Great – three pivotal figures in world history – and their contributions to civilization.
As for food, there are plenty of Greek menu items to try, including pastries like baklava, galaktoboureko (a creamy semolina custard that’s wrapped in fillo, baked and drizzled with honey syrup) and melomakarona (honey-dipped spice cookies covered in chopped walnuts). You can also try Greek-style coffee and dishes like moussaka (layered potatoes, eggplant and ground beef topped with béchamel sauce) and pastitsio (layers of macaroni, ground beef and cheese covered with béchamel sauce), or a la carte gyros, souvlaki and even Skyline cheese coneys, which you won’t find in Greece, but we can thank Greek immigrants for.
The festival runs Friday 5-11 p.m.; Saturday 3-11 p.m.; and Sunday 1-8 p.m. Admission is $3 and children 12 and under get in for free. You can also purchase a weekend pass for $5. A portion of the admission fee will be donated to the Freestore Foodbank, The Good Shepherd Food Pantry and The Holy Transfiguration Community Garden.
Free parking and a shuttle are available at St. Xavier High School (600 W. North Bend Road).
Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Church, 7000 Winton Road, Springfield Township. More info: htsnchurch.org/panegyri.
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